Werneth School Curriculum Overview, 2019-20 Academic Year

We offer a broad and varied curriculum at Werneth School, reflecting the diverse needs of our students. We ensure all students have access to a curriculum which is balanced between academic, practical, technical and creative subjects. We also acknowledge  the fact that the diverse needs means our students will often lean towards one or more of these strands of the curriculum. We aim to allow our students to develop new knowledge, skills and interests, significantly deepening their knowledge and understanding in their chosen subjects from Year 9 onwards.

In English Maths, Science, Life Learning, RE and PE the school’s curriculum methodology is based on a five year approach. English, Maths and Science account for 42% of curriculum time in Year 7 and Year 8. This increases to 48% in Year 9 and 54% in Year  10 and 11. This time allowance recognises the significance of the three core subjects for future pathways and the fact that students will sit between five and seven GCSEs in these subjects.

In Year 7 and Year 8, the core subjects are supported by a broad curriculum that facilitates personalised pathways as students move through their five years. Students study Humanities (History, Geography and RE), Creative subjects (Dance, Drama, Music and  Art), Technology (Food Technology, Textiles, Product Design and Resistant Materials), MFL (French), and PE.

Subjects follow the National Curriculum. Subject Leaders are responsible for selection and sequencing of learning, to maximise breadth, depth and knowledge acquisition. Development of knowledge is carefully sequenced and linked to assessments throughout  the programme. Detailed programmes of work identify opportunities to revisit topics in order to consolidate learning, and identify and address gaps in knowledge. Teachers have worked collaboratively in their departments to plan meaningful formative assessment that allows students to demonstrate the acquisition and application of knowledge.

Our curriculum places high importance on the development of literacy and oracy skills for all students, with intervention and support for those who require it. There are two dedicated transition groups in Year 7 to help identified students move successfully into Key Stage 3, and then thrive in the secondary setting. A number of students also receive additional support for Literacy and Numeracy.

English and Maths are taught in sets from Year 7. Science and MFL are taught in sets from Year 8. The school aims to provide smaller than national average class sizes across every subject where possible, and greater support is provided as applicable in terms of class size.

Year 9 is a transitional year which allows students to discontinue some subjects and access some new courses to help them choose an appropriate pathway in Years 10 and 11. Students select 4 option subjects at the end of Year 8: at least one must be from the EBacc group of subjects (History, Geography, Computer Science, French, Spanish and German). The other three selections are free choices from around 25 subjects, including some applied and vocational courses not studied in Year 7 and Year 8 (Catering, Engineering, Photography, Business Studies, Graphics, Film Studies, Media, and 3D Design). Students are advised to continue to study at least one practical/technical subject as an option choice. At the end of Year 9, students select their final option subjects to study until the end of Year 11. The aim of Year 9 is to provide greater depth and knowledge acquisition relative to the courses in Years 10 and 11.

Year 10 and 11

Our curriculum model has taken time to develop and refine, but feedback from students has been very positive. Its aim is to provide students with balance and breadth, whilst also allowing them to develop a bespoke curriculum to play to their strengths. A student can choose to study three Humanities subjects, or an EBacc subject and two practical/creative subjects for example. All students will be prepared for GCSE examinations in English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science (equivalent to 2 or 3 GCSEs). Most students will also be prepared for GCSE, or equivalent qualifications, in 3 other subjects, one of which must be from the EBacc group of subjects.

Extension and enrichment opportunities are also available for some students to study additionalGCSEs: Further Maths and Statistics; two linked visual art qualifications over three years; a number of other wider qualifications in Leadership and Enterprise; individual students completing additional qualifications in Performing Arts subjects. These opportunities may vary from year to year depending on the needs of the cohort and the availability of staff.

At the start of Year 10, additional vocational options (Construction, Child Care) are also available for some students, offering further breadth and personalisation to the curriculum. The school recognises that a small number of our students struggle with the  demands of a full secondary curriculum. The school offers in-house programmes in Years 10 and 11 to support a bespoke curriculum for these students. This bespoke curriculum is delivered by Werneth teachers but can also include additional opportunities, including work experience, college placements, social, health and community work: these programmes include ASPIRE (Year 11), Buildup (Year 10) and Tracks (Years 10 and 11).

Although the curriculum has been designed to meet the P8 requirements, our curriculum is principled with the primary needs of our students in mind. The overriding goal has been to create a flexible model that would be motivational and well matched to the needs of our students, whatever their starting point, interest and background. Therefore a small number of students follow a highly personalised programme, including courses that are not included in the P8 measure. This has led to a significant number of increased opportunities for these students post-16 ( eg apprenticeships ).

In all years, students follow a Life Learning programme delivered via lessons, assemblies, form time and collapsed days. Content includes Character, Culture, Mental Wellbeing, Sex and Relationships, Healthy relationships, Careers and Work Related Learning. Provision is enhanced through our partnership with Adidas and The Manchester United Foundation and the extensive range of extra curricular opportunities for students. Adidas provides an experiential development programme in Year 7, and MU Foundation offers a wide range of curricular opportunities for our students to expand their knowledge across the curriculum.

Lesson Times

There will be four lessons before lunch and one after. The new lesson times are shown below.

Start Finish Timetable
8.45 9.05 Registration / Assembly / Form Period
9.05 10.10 Period 1
10.10 11.10 Period 2
11.10 11.30 Break
11.30 12.30 Period 3
12.30 13.30 Period 4
13.30 14.10 Lunch Time
14.10 15.10 Period 5

Two-Week Timetable

To give us enough flexibility , we  operate a two-week timetable, made up of a Red Week and a Blue Week. The two weeks will have identical lesson times, but the balance of lessons may vary slightly from one week to the other. For example, a student in Year 9 may have four English lessons in one week and three in the other. We will help students to be clear about which week is which, with suitable notices in student planners, on the plasma screens around school and on the website.

Curriculum Model showing the number of period per fortnight

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
Maths 7 Maths 7 Maths 8 Maths 9 Maths 9
Eng 8 Eng 7 Eng 8 Eng 9 Eng 9
Sc 6 Sc 7 Sc 6 Sc 9 Sc 9
PE 4 PE 4 PE 4 PE 3 PE 3
MFL 4 MFL 4 Opt1 5 Opt1 6 Opt1 6
Gg 4 Gg 4 Opt 2 5 Opt 2 6 Opt 2 6
Hist 4 Hist 4 Opt 3 5 Opt 3 6 Opt 3 6
Art 2 Art 2 Opt 4 5 RE/PSE 2 RE/PSE 2
Mus/Da/Dr 4 Mus/Da/Dr 4 RE 2        
ICT 2 ICT 2 PSE 2        
Tec 3 Tec 3            
RE/LL 2 RE/PSE 2            

Curriculum booklet


Assessing Progress

The progress made by students will be assessed in a variety of ways.
Feedback (verbal and written) will be focused on developing and applying the knowledge of each unit and ensuring that effective learning has taken place. This may take the form of:

  • identifying which aspects of a student’s work went well ( www ) and which aspects could they improve ( ebi – even better if );
  • Providing questions for students to answer and develop, based on the work that they produce
  • Providing dedicated improvement and reflection time in lessons to read teachers’ comments on their work, and respond to the questions that their teachers ask;
  • Providing other forms of assessment to consolidate knowledge ( eg involving each other in assessing work and looking at exemplar models of excellent work ).

Teachers have revised units of work in Years 7 and 8, in line with the new National Curriculum.  This is to ensure that key concepts are fully developed, and teachers choose the units of work that will best prepare students for learning at Key Stage 4 and beyond.

Reporting Progress

The progress of students is tracked every term.  Student trackers are sent home every term for Years 7 to 10, and four times a year in  Year 11.

Reports for Year7 and Year 8 are currently being redesigned
Reports for Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11

Students will be given a target grade at the start of the course which will be shown on the report.

The report will aslo show:

An ATL grade


Attitude to learning



Attitude to learning

Very good


Attitude to learning



Attitude to learning



Attitude to learning



Attitude to learning

Serious Concerns


Attitude to learning




Very poor attendance prevents progress being made in this subject

  • a predicted grade (the grade they are expected to achieve at the end of the course)
  • a current grade the grade (the are currently working at).

The grade will be a number on the new 1-9 scale for most courses or Pass (P), Merit (M), Distinction (D) for some vocational courses. . In 2020 most courses will be on the new 1 – 9  grading scale explained below. The new courses have more content, are more demanding and in many cases require more extended writing. There is also a greater emphasis on literacy and numeracy, with a higher percentages of marks being awarded for spelling and grammar.
Grading of new GCSEs

  • 9 (highest) to 1 (lowest) will replace current grades A* to G in the new courses only from 2017 onwards;
  • 4 will be roughly equivalent to an old  grade C in terms of difficulty
  • The top three grades (7, 8 and 9) will replace the current old top two (A* and A);
  • Grade of 9 will be the ‘super-grade’, which some are referring to as the equivalent of an A** .
  • Students taking Level 2 vocational courses such as Hair and Beauty will be graded P, M  D or D*
    • P is equivalent to a grade 4 at GCSE
    • M is equivalent to a grade 5/6 at GCSE
    • D is equivalent to a grade 7 at GCSE
    • D* is equivalent to a grade 8 at GCSE